Few or no University students or their families were directly affected by Saturday’s deadly earthquake in Pakistan, according to campus groups.

About 45 students are Pakistani citizens, Dean of Students Sue Eklund estimated. Pakistan bore the brunt of the disaster that officials estimate killed between 20,000 and 30,000 people.

About 2,000 have been reported dead in India and four in Afghanistan.

As of yesterday afternoon, the University had not yet begun to contact Pakistani students to find out if any are from the affected regions, a process that is usually done via e-mail.

Muslim Student Association Vice President Wajeeha Shuttari said she had not heard of any students who were directly affected.

Shuttari said most Pakistani students at the University do not come from the affected regions, which are less developed than major cities such as Islamabad, the capital, which lies about 60 miles southeast of the quake’s epicenter and sustained only minor damage and casualties.

“A lot of international students here come from (Pakistan’s) bigger universities,” she said.

Neal Pancholi, co-chair of the South Asian Awareness Network, said that he has not heard of anyone whose families have been affected.

“(Pakistani students) confirmed that their family members are safe,” he said. “Some of their families are worried about the relief effort though.”

It will be difficult to get aid to the region because of inadequate transportation, Pancholi said.

Pakistani Student Association Executive Chair Nida Javaid said she also had not heard of anyone affected by the disaster because most Pakistani students come from Lahore and Karachi.

Despite the fact that students at the University have not been directly affected by the quake, student groups have still mobilized in support of earthquake victims.

Three student groups, including the Indian American Student Association and PSA, have collaborated to hold a vigil for victims on the Diag at 9:30 p.m. Thursday night.

MSA plans to collect money on the Diag tomorrow.

It also plans to team up with PSA to hold a benefit dinner tomorrow night, with proceeds from a required minimum donation going toward relief efforts.

The dinner, which will be held at 7 p.m. in Betsy Barbour Lounge, is open to all. It is part of a month-long series of daily dinners to mark the end of the day’s fasting during Ramadan.

Students can find information about how to donate to relief efforts at PSA’s website, www.umich.edu/~pakistan.


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